Last week the internet was flooded with copies of Quentin Tarantino's script for his remake of Inglorious Bastards or, as the title page has it, "Inglourious Basterds." All I can say is, I hope that this is a bogus script.
It's happened before. The Charley and the Chocolate Factory script reviewed in Cashiers du Cinemart #15 and two of the Indiana Jones 4 scripts in CdC #9 were phony. We should be so lucky if "Inglourious Basterds" is too. Otherwise, it's time to buckle up because this film is one bumpy ride.
The script has a group of Jewish soldiers going after Nazis with a vengeance during WWII. Lead by Aldo (a nod to Aldo Ray?) "The Apache"--named such for scalping his victims--the "Basterds" (it's never spelled correctly) are feared by German soldiers. There's no "getting the team together" sequence (which makes movies like The Dirty Dozen so great) or even a montage of why these guys are "Basterds" apart from one flashback to a member who likes to pummel his victims with a baseball bat. Instead, we join the team in progress as they tear ass through enemy territory and terrorize soldiers. Like Mickey and Mallory Knox, they always leave someone alive to tell the tale, though they're scarred with a swastika on their forehead as a mark of running awry of the "Basterds."
The screenplay meanders, dipping into Sergio Leone territory quite often with scenes amalgamating The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West which introduces our villain, Colonel Landa, "The Jew Hunter." It isn't until the third of five chapters that this story really gets underway.
The "Basterds" aren't the main crux of the story (another mistake), rather, they're unwitting foils in the plan of Shoshanna Dreyfus, the "one who got away" from Colonel Landa in the opening scene. She runs a Parisian cinema where a Nazi propaganda film makes its premiere. She utilizes the former cinema owner's extensive nitrate film collection to take out the Third Reich's high command, including none other than Adolf Hitler!
What leads me to believe that this truly is Tarantino's work includes the following: Female protagonist, a foot being placed in a guy's crotch, long-winded (165 pages!), pop culture references galore (two British officers are described as being different incarnations of George Sanders), rampant misspellings, and a scrawl across the cover page that looks identical to that found on the early drafts of Kill Bill. What leads me to not believe that this is legitimate include the cover date of July 2, 2008 -- meaning that it was leaked approximately eight days after completion -- and that it's not derivative enough.
This is the first time that Tarantino's actually gone so far as to call a project a "remake" rather than just ripping off another film, or films, and calling it his own. Moreover, the similarities between this work and Enzo Castellari's original stop at the title and WWII setting, at least from what I've seen. I've only recently gotten my hands on GI Bro (as it was released on VHS) and will be watching this soon. I won't be spending the cash for the three (or single) disc DVD release when it comes out on July 29, 2008. The other thing that I find suspect is the plot to kill Hitler. That means that 2009 may see two films about roughly the same thing if the trouble Tom Cruise production of Valkyrie ever makes it to theaters. But, hey, Hollywood's given us two movies about the same subject in the same season before, right?